People protest in the streets at the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP Photo/Jessica Kourkounis)

Unlike other Women’s Marches, Jakarta’s version will not be about Trump.

Adelia Anjani Putri   20 February 2017 15:40 -  

While hundreds of thousands of people around the world joined Women’s Marches in January to protest inequalities towards women and United States President Donald Trump’s ascent to office, Indonesians did not jump into the bandwagon.

There was only a small protest held in Jakarta’s Taman Semanggi held by around 25 people on Jan. 21 —an event that was overlooked by the media. 

The lack of protest does not mean that gender issues are without problem in Indonesia. In fact, World Economic Forum ranked Indonesia the 88th out of 144 countries for gender equality in 2016 and National Commission for Women (Komnas Perempuan) claimed that the number of violence against women keeps increasing every year.

The data shows that Indonesia has problems of its own when it comes to gender equality and women’s issues. That is why a collaboration of NGOs is planning to hold Women’s March Jakarta next month. The event will be held at Hotel Indonesia roundabouts, Central Jakarta, on March 4 in celebration of International Women’s Day that falls on March 8.

But unlike the other Women’s Marches, the Jakarta version will not be about The Donald.

“Our march is sparked by what happened internationally but it has its own aims. We are not marching to protest Trump specifically, but rather the current state of politics around the world, including in Indonesia - politics that ignore the rights and needs of women and other marginalized groups such as LGBT people, disabled people and indigenous people,” said Kate Walton, one of the organizers. “We demand that the government fulfill women's rights throughout the country.

“We have many NGOs working (on this event) including my organization Peace Women Across The Globe Indonesia. We also have Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, Solidaritas Perempuan and Arus Pelangi. There are many other organizations confirming soon,” said Olin Monteiro, also one of the organizers.

The exact agenda is still being finalized, according to Kate, but there will be speeches, slam poetry, and dances —including 22-member troupe performing a traditional Balinese rejang dance.

And although the name is Women’s March Jakarta, the rally is open to all — male, female, transgender, agender, and pangender. You just need to follow the dress code.

“We would like to suggest that people attending the march wear pink or purple, to show that colors that are typically seen as 'weak' or 'feminine' colors are actually strong and powerful like the women in the march,” Kate said. “People should also bring posters and banners with their messages to the government and society.”


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